HEALTHY LIVING AND SOCIAL CARE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 9th October, 2018.

 

Present:  Councillor K.F. McCaffer (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. R. Nugent-Finn (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Ms. J. Aviet, Ms. B.E. Brooks, G.D.D. Carroll, S.T. Edwards, K.P. Mahoney, L.O. Rowlands and N.C. Thomas.

 

 

388            APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE –

 

This was received from Councillor Mrs. C.A. Cave.

 

 

389            MINUTES –

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 11th September, 2018 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

390            DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

391            PRESENTATION – CHILDHOOD OBESITY IN THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN –

 

For this item, from Public Health Wales, the Committee welcomed Dr. Suzanne Wood, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Fiona Kinghorn (Deputy Director of Public Health) and Emma Holmes (Clinical Lead for Public Health Dietetics). 

 

Dr. Wood advised that she had been invited to the Scrutiny Committee to provide an update on childhood obesity in the Vale of Glamorgan.  She began by referring to the current situation with outlined that for children aged 4 to 5 years, the percentage of children who were obese in the Vale of Glamorgan was the lowest in Wales.  The Vale of Glamorgan percentage was 7.8 with the Wales average being 12.4.  The trend over the past five years from 2012/13 was showing a reduction in the percentage of children who were obese.  This was very positive, but Dr. Wood stressed that it was important not to be complacent.

 

Members noted that the area with the highest rate of childhood obesity was within Barry, which had double the rate of obesity compared to less deprived areas.  In terms of secondary school children, the 2014 Public Health survey showed that 15% of persons aged 11 to 16 in the Vale of Glamorgan were overweight / obese.  This compared to the Wales average of 18%. 

 

Dr. Wood stated that the weight category of an individual aged 4 to 5 years was an important factor in determining how obese that person would become in later life.  It was noted that over 82% of children aged 4 to 5 who were obese would also be obese at the ages of 8 to 9.

 

In outlining what were the opportunities to combat child obesity in the Vale of Glamorgan, Fiona Kinghorn referred to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act and the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Well-being Plan which featured actions for food / physical activity across four strategic objectives.  These were linked to enable people to participate in their local communities, to reduce poverty and tackle inequality, to give children the best start in life and to protect, enhance and value the environment.  In addition, the Public Health (Wales) Act created a duty for a national obesity strategy which had been drafted and would go out for consultation on 22nd November, 2018.  This included five key themes, aligned to the future local framework “Moving More, Eating Well”.  The five key themes being:

 

  • Healthy environment
  • Healthy settings
  • Healthier people
  • Achieving a healthier weight
  • Leadership and enabling.

 

The Act also placed a duty for public sector organisations to undertake a Health Impact Assessment.

 

An important element in tackling child obesity was a need to create a step change around healthy travel.  This required significant modal shift in order to improve physical and mental health and wellbeing, reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.  Opportunities for this were presented by the Well-being of Future Generations Act, the Active Travel Act, the draft De-Carbonisation Strategy and the South Wales Metro.  Fiona Kinghorn advised that action was being taken through the Public Service Board’s Task and Finish Group which focused on Active Travel facilities, electric vehicle infrastructure, shared communication messages and supporting schools.  It was recognised that there was a need to support and improve public transport networks in the Vale and to reduce the reliance on cars for short journeys, including the school run. 

 

Reference was then made to the Food Vale Social Network which created a Food Charter that outlined key priorities around improving people’s access to good quality locally produce food and also in relation to improving parent’s food skills and knowledge.  In order to implement this, a business case was being created in order to employ a Food Vale Co-ordinator

 

A key aspect of the work to tackle child obesity related to a new school curriculum for Wales.  This was currently being developed by pioneer schools across Wales.  It would be available for feedback from April 2019 with the final version to be completed by January 2020.  One of the four key purposes was to support children and young people to be healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.  Health and wellbeing was one of six areas of learning and experience which it was hoped would lead to children and young people being able to apply knowledge about the impact of diet and exercise on physical and mental health on their daily lives and to take part in physical activity and take measured decisions about lifestyles and managed risks. 

 

Emma Holmes, the Clinical Lead for Public Health Dietetics, gave a brief overview of the ‘10 Steps to a Healthy Weight’ which was launched nationally by Public Health Wales in March 2016. This was an evidence-based account of what can be done, in steps, to prevent children becoming obese in their early years (under 5).  Members noted that it was reported that only 40% of children regularly ate one portion of fruit per day.  A key element in tackling this was about changing behaviours and the adverse influence of peers. It was therefore important to consider a person’s motivations and to create the right sort of environment in order to create change.

 

In concluding her presentation, Fiona Kinghorn asked for the Scrutiny Committee to support the following recommendations:

 

1.         That progress to date be noted.

 

2.         To support the development and delivery of the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan “Moving More, Eating Well” Framework.

 

3.         To support the Public Service Board actions e.g. Food Vale / Healthy Travel.

 

A Committee Member commented that he welcomed any initiatives to improve child obesity and he raised concern regarding the reduction in school play fields.  He queried whether Public Health Wales had made any representations to the Vale of Glamorgan Council regarding the reduction in exercise time for pupils and the costs incurred by organisations and clubs around playing fields.  The Member also stated that education was important but more had to happen, referring to areas of high deprivation in which child obesity was higher that the Welsh average.  In reply, Fiona Kinghorn stated that the Member had highlighted the key challenges that were being faced and there were different dynamics between rural parts of the Vale and urban areas.  She however was unable to comment around school playing fields but agreed that families needed to be more aware of healthy eating and that education was a small part of a wider approach undertaken by Public Health Wales.  The Committee Member then commented around proposals by the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Bridgend Council to increase costs for clubs and organisations that rent playing fields, which he stated could have a big impact.  The Member specifically referred to bowling greens which helped people of a certain age and he stated that if twelve people in the Vale required hospital support then this would wipe out any saving that had been achieved.  The Member queried whether Public Health Wales had recognised these concerns and whether any enquiries had been made around the impact.  In reply, Dr. Wood stated that Public Health Wales would provide evidence to Councils for the need for mixed facilities, but the final decisions would lie with the Local Authorities. 

 

A Committee Member, referring to the ten steps to a healthy lifestyle, queried how this would be promoted as the flyer on the Health Board’s website was not easy to understand.  In reply, Emma Holmes stated that the ten steps were just one part of the Health Board’s strategy.  The strategy included practical engagement messages that could be easily accessed but there was a need for these to be locally embedded.  This included early years settings through to schools, which it was hoped would have a greater impact.  This was however dependent upon the individual family and so it was important to consider which approach was appropriate.   The Member then raised a general point and commented that an individual could receive all the information available on healthy eating, but could still chose not to change their behaviour.  The important element was for the individual to buy in in order to make the lifestyle changes.  The Member queried what plans were in place to target 15 and 16 year olds who were moving away from parental responsibility and who would be beginning to make their own choices.  Fiona Kinghorn stated that this was about changing a person’s behaviour but included the person’s family and peers and to look at how health professionals could motivate individuals and their families to eat more healthily.  One thing that had been realised was the need for strong psychological support to be available, which it was hoped would help create a positive environment that would lead to a person changing their habits.

 

A Committee Member commented on children not having the ability to play outdoors.  In reply, Fiona Kinghorn stated that access to play areas was important, and so it was key to challenge the perceptions of risk held by many parents.  In addition, Public Health Wales were aware that there was now a generation of people that possessed very little cooking skills and this was why a new school curriculum was being brought in.  This would help to encourage people to cook more and to give them practical skills and knowledge. 

 

In referring to areas of high deprivation and poverty, a Committee Member stated that this was at the heart of the problem.  He added that child obesity coincided with areas of deprivation and this was in correlation to poor outcomes for families in these areas.  The Member queried how would Public Health Wales improve the outcomes for the people living in the deprived areas.  In reply, Dr. Wood stated that a multi-faceted approach was required which included a need to work with planners to create more green spaces and to tackle the normalisation that obesity had become.  This was highlighted by the 40% of children only eating one portion of fruit per day.  This showed that unhealthy eating had become the norm.  Therefore, a response was needed to tackle this which was at many different levels. 

 

A Committee Member, in referring to the ten steps to a healthy lifestyle, queried whether children suffering with obesity would have a lot of support from their school teachers.  In reply, Fiona Kinghorn stated that the ten steps were not meant to be a surveillance tool, but it was a programme used to provide information to families.  For high level cases, the issues would be more difficult as it may be that a family member or even a teacher could be overweight which would mean that the ability to challenge behaviour would be more difficult.  This would include cognitive therapy and teaching individuals of the best way to live a healthy lifestyle.  Fiona Kinghorn stated that there was no longer a specific support service in the Vale of Glamorgan and she referred to the use of school resources and play facilities such as sports fields which were in use 178 days a year.  She added that a lot of schools took part in the ‘Run a Mile’ programme and she stated that this had been very successful.

 

A Committee Member queried whether there would be any support offered to parents around their eating habits at a personal level.  In reply, Emma Holmes stated that there should be and she stated that evidence had shown that training was key, as was the multi-faceted approach.  It was important to ensure that families had easy access to good wholesome food which was based on their income with families on low income finding it extremely difficult to access the right sorts of foods. 

 

The Chairman asked for further information around the post of Food Co-ordinator.  In reply, Fiona Kinghorn stated that a business case at a UK level had been put forward but she did not have the timescale at present.  The role was around accessibility of food and looking at the skills arena along with working with local farmers to provide sustainable sources of food.  This would ensure there was momentum around the work being carried out and the post would seek to ensure that the efforts of all stakeholders were properly co-ordinated.  A similar approach had been used in the city of Cardiff which had been successful and so it was hoped that this could be repeated.

 

There being no further questions, the Committee subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the progress to date in tackling child obesity be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the development and delivery of the Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan’s “Moving More / Eating Well” Framework be supported.

 

(3)       T H A T the Public Service Board’s actions e.g. Food Vale / Healthy Travel be supported.

 

Reason for recommendations

 

(1-3)    Following consideration of the progress made in tackling the issue of child obesity.

 

 

392            CARE INSPECTORATE WALES: INSPECTION OF CHILDREN’S SERVICES 2018 (DSS) –

 

 

The Head of Children and Young People Services presented the report, the purpose of which was to update the Scrutiny Committee on the Care Inspectorate Wales’ (CIW) Inspection of the Vale of Glamorgan Children’s Services during 2018.

 

For this item and presenting the findings of the CIW was Denise Moultrie (Senior Manager – Local Authority Inspections CIW).

 

In summarising the key findings of the CIW inspection, Ms. Moultrie began by clarifying that the inspection was part of a routine thematic inspection and was not as a result of concerns arising in respect of the Vale of Glamorgan.  Ms Moultrie confirmed that the scope of the inspection included the experience and progress of children, the arrangements for permanence planning for children and the quality of leadership, corporate parenting and governance arrangements.  The methodology used by the inspection included a self-assessment completed by the Vale of Glamorgan in advance of the CIW fieldwork.  The Authority was asked to provide evidence against what was expected and each key dimension inspected.  This information was used to shape the detailed lines of enquiry for the inspection.  In addition, the CIW selected case files for tracking and review from a sample of cases.  In total 46 case files were reviewed of which 12 were followed up with interviews with social workers and family members.  For case files the CIW met with a group of professionals working with that family.  CIW interviewed children, parents and relatives.  In addition, the CIW interviewed a range of Local Authority employees, elected Members, senior officers, the Director of Social Services and the Managing Director.  CIW reviewed six staff supervision files and 18 records of supervision and they looked at a sample of three complaints about Children’s Services.  There were also interviews held with a range of partner organisations, representing both statutory and the third sector.

 

In terms of areas of strength, the CIW had found that the Council possessed motivated and well supported front line staff.  In addition, there was good corporate support and strong collaborative working across the Council.  CIW found evidence that showed that social work staff knew children well and children were regularly visited.  There were robust multi-agency panels which ensured consistent and effective decision-making about placements and permanency planning and Legal Services were providing good support in decision-making and court proceedings which was very important.  The CIW also found from the files they reviewed that children were protected.  The regional work with Cardiff to increase foster placements was recognised as was the work with residential providers to place more children closer to home.  Finally, the CIW found good practice in multi-agency support for care leavers and young homeless people and considered that the restructuring of teams already in progress at the time of the inspection demonstrated the Council were positively addressing some key challenges. 

 

From the inspection, it had been highlighted that one of the main areas for improvement related to the need to further embed the principles of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 into practice, so that social work practice was evidencing co-production with families.  CIW also felt that the Council could better articulate the high level vision and ambition for children in the Vale of Glamorgan alongside its Corporate Strategy for Children. 

 

In addition, CIW regarded that the prioritisation of recruitment and retention activity should continue to be progressed, and there was a need to further support implementation of the newly developed electronic case management system.  The area of quality assurance was highlighted for further development, as was the need for reliable performance management information under the newly implemented case management system to support oversight of service delivery. 

 

In relation to assessment, CIW recommended that the Council should ensure that decisions were robust by reviewing re-referrals.  In addition assessments needed to take into account all information from previous contacts and incorporate all risks.  It was also important to obtain the views of children seen alone and to fully outline these in assessments. 

 

In relation to care and support planning, CIW recommended that risk assessments were included in all care plans as one rather than as separate documents.  CIW found that children were regularly attending meetings and were having their views represented by the independent reviewing officers but the Council did need to ensure that the reviewing officers had sufficient capacity to undertaken their role which included always seeing children. 

 

The Committee was also advised that the Council needed to ensure that proper records were made of decisions made for children outside of panel arrangements, and that the regulations for out of area placement panels needed to be complied with.

 

In summarising the inspection, Ms. Moultrie advised that the Vale of Glamorgan Council was in a strong position to further develop its service to children and families due to the corporate support, motivated staff and the plans that were already in place.  Ms. Moultrie clarified that there was no requirement, based on what had been seen through the inspection, for CIW to monitor the Council outside of its usual ongoing performance review activity with all local authorities.

 

A Committee Member commented that the need to hear the voice of the child had been around in legislation for many years and he referred to procedures requiring children to be seen alone by their social workers which meant that they were not unduly influenced by others.  The Member stated that he was surprised that this was not being recorded.  The Member then went on to refer to a 50% staff vacancy rate which he felt would not allow for a consistent approach, resulting in social workers having to restart their relationship with children.  In reply, Ms. Moultrie stated that staff vacancies were a concern highlighted by the CIW in one area of the service, but they had seen sight of the Council’s plan to restructure teams.  This would result in a re-distribution of workloads and enable teams to focus in a way that supported the management of complex cases and the delivery of a dedicated team for children looked after.  This, it was hoped, would make the Vale of Glamorgan an attractive proposition for prospective staff members and support both the recruitment and retention of the workforce.  She added that recruitment was a problem seen across Wales where local authorities were all recruiting social work staff.  Ms. Moultrie also commented that the CIW did not have any concerns that children were not being seen alone and that social workers were not talking to children.  This area of development related to the transfer of knowledge from the social worker into the care plan and the opportunity to highlight examples where this was not as good as it could have been, but could be improved.

 

A Committee Member stated that CIW had emphasised improvements around risk assessments and he queried whether they were aware of the Scully Hicks case.  In reply, the Committee was advised that the CIW were aware of the case but were not in receipt of the child practice review report at the time of the inspection as this has not been published.  Ms. Moultrie advised that child practice reviews was not a role for the CIW and the inspection had a stringent brief which had to be followed.  She added that it was important for the child practice review process to take its course. 

 

A Committee Member commented on assessments not taking account of all information available.  This, the Member stated, was very concerning as the cases related to vulnerable children and the Member asked how common this was.  In reply, Ms. Moultrie stated that she did not have the figure but if it was the majority, then the CIW would have indicated this.   This related to the minority of cases and was related to children being re-referred for care and support.  This required the need for all information to be properly recorded with some examples of this happening better than in others.  She also advised that this was not about the systems in place, but it did highlight a need to improve quality assurance.  She added that the inspection had highlighted that the analysis of cases could be more thorough in some cases and that there was a need to consider and understand what a good analysis looked like.  The issues identified tended to be when the analysis of the assessment was transferred to be read across into the care plan.  If the CIW felt that this was a service-wide problem then the CIW would have indicated that a follow-up visit was required.  In addition, Ms. Moultrie stated that the main part of the analysis was to gather information and that CIW had seen both examples of good practice and practice which could have been more rigorous.  This was not uncommon and was a big piece of work for social workers which could be impacted if they had a high workload.  There was therefore a need to improve the quality of assessments that could be tackled through extra training which was highlighted within the new Social Services and Well-being Act. 

 

A Committee Member asked how the CIW would monitor the improvements.  In reply, Ms. Moultrie stated that the action plan devised was Directorate wide and also included some regional working.  This meant that CIW would engage with a wide range of officers over the next few months in order to check progress.  The Head of Children and Young People Services confirmed that the service were committed to taking forward the recommendations within the report and remained committed to delivering a service that improves outcomes for children.  She confirmed that all actions were underway and that the baseline provided through the inspection would support continuing improvement. 

 

Subsequently, it was

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the key messages to emerge from the Inspection, including areas of progress and areas for development, be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

Following the Committee’s consideration of the outcomes from the CIW’s Inspection of Children’s Services in the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

 

393            REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST AUGUST 2018 (DSS) –

 

The Operational Manager – Accountancy presented the report, the purpose which was to advise of the position ion respect of revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 31st August, 2018. 

 

The Committee was advised that as it was early in the financial year, the forecast for Social Services was shown as a balanced budget. 

 

Children and Young People Services – The major issue concerning this service for the coming year would be the pressure on the children’s placements budget given the complexities of the children currently being supported and the high cost placements some of these children required to meet their needs.  Work continued to ensure that children were placed in the most appropriate and cost effective placements, however in the context of this complexity of need and the national challenges in identifying placements, it was currently anticipated that this budget would overspend.  It should be noted that due to the potential high cost of each placement, the outturn position could fluctuate with a change in the number of children looked after and / or the complexity of need.  The service held a reserve that could be accessed at year end to fund high cost placements if required.

 

Adult Services – The major issue concerning this service for the coming year would continue to be the pressure on the Community Care Packages budget.  This budget was extremely volatile and was influenced by legislative changes such as the National Living Wage.  At this early stage of the year, the outturn position was difficult to predict.  The service also continued to be affected by the pressures of continued demographic growth, an increase in the cost of service provision, the Community Care Packages budget would have to achieve further savings this year.  The service would strive to manage growing demand and would develop savings initiatives which may be funded via regional grants.  Welsh Government had continued to provide Intermediate Care Fund (ICF) grant to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to allow collaborative working between Health and Cardiff and the Vale Councils, however the level of grant funding was not guaranteed on an ongoing basis.

 

Leisure Services – The Parks element of the revenue budget could no longer be reported separately, as operational, it was an integrated part of the new Neighbourhood Services.  It was therefore only possible to report the Leisure and Play element under this heading.  As Parks capital schemes were separately identifiable they would continue to be reported to the Committee.

 

As part of the Final Revenue Budget Proposals for 2018/19, a savings target of £6.298m was set for the Authority.  Attached at Appendix 1 to the report was a statement detailing all savings targets relating to this Committee.

 

Appendix 2 provided further detail of the savings within the Social Services Budget Programme.  The Corporate Programme Board and Project Teams overseeing the Plan would continue to monitor and ensure its delivery.  As in previous years, ongoing progress updates would to be reported to Committee as part of the overall financial monitoring report for the Directorate.

 

Appendix 3 detailed financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st August, 2018.

 

Flying Start Ladybirds – A £90k Flying Start capital grant had been approved by Welsh Government and included in the Capital Programme using Emergency Powers approved on 19th July, 2018.  The grant was to fund works to improve the outdoor learning area in the Ladybirds setting which was based in Holton Road Primary School.

 

Colcot Pitches – Additional works had been undertaken to install CCTV at the site.  In order to fund this, it had been requested that £11k be vired from the Safe Routes in Communities Dinas Powys to Penarth via Cosmeston scheme which was anticipated to underspend this year.

 

Cowbridge Leisure Centre Roofing – An emergency power was approved on 16th August, 2018 for the installation of a solar voltaic system on the roof at Cowbridge Leisure Centre.  The Capital Programme had been increased by £91k for the installation and the costs would initially be funded from the Energy Management Fund.  Legacy Leisure, the operator of the Leisure Centre, would be charged for the energy it consumed and this would be reimbursed into the Energy Management Fund.

 

Lougher Place Play Area – There was currently a budget of £166k for Lougher Place Play Area in the 2018/19 Capital Programme.  Delegated authority approved on 9th July, 2018 increased the budget by £3k, using Community Facilities Section 106 contributions and this funding would be used to implement additional benches at Lougher Place play area and sports field.

 

Ystradowen Sports Club – Delegated authority had been actioned on 1st August, 2018 to include £16k into the Capital Programme to allow a contribution to be paid to Ystradowen Community and Sport’s Association to support their Community Inclusion project which included an extension to the village hall and the construction of a new petanque court at Parc Owain.  This would be funded from Section 106 monies.

 

Subsequently, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2018/19 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the progress made in delivering the Social Services Budget programme be noted.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       Having regard to the 2018/19 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to this Committee.

 

(2)       Having regard to the progress made to date on the Social Services Budget Programme.

 

 

394            REPRESENTATIONS, COMPLAINTS AND COMPLIMENTS (DSS) –

 

The Director of Social Services presented the report, the purpose of which was to advise Members about activities, performance and achievements within this important area of work during 2017/18 and improvements developed for 2018/19. 

 

The Annual Social Services Representations and Complaints Annual Report 2017/2018 was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  It contained a very detailed account and some of the most significant aspects are set out below.

 

The Directorate received 102 concerns or complaints in 2017/2018.  The breakdown across the service is shown below:

 

 

Enquiries*

Complaints

Adult Services

26

19

Children and Young People Services

20

28

Resources Management, Safeguarding and Performance

0

4

Total

46

51

 

*An enquiry is an issue of concern to the service user, dealt with by the team, without escalation to a complaint.

 

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales provided an external independent service for the purpose of considering complaints made by members of the public in relation to all Local Authority services, including Social Services.  During 2017-18, the Ombudsman received nine cases involving Social Services in the Vale of Glamorgan.  Out of these nine cases one was investigated.  The remaining eight were not investigated either because they were ruled premature (three cases) or the Ombudsman decided not to investigate (five cases).

 

Increased staff awareness about their responsibilities under the Complaints Procedure and their commitment to resolving concerns at the earliest opportunity were considered to be key factors in managing the volume of complaints.  All staff had received refresher training on the procedure and the Complaints Officer supported them to ensure compliance.  The Complaints Officer had continued to take on a mediation role, using a range of approaches including discussion, supplying information and listening to the concerns of the individual and ensuring that the relevant service area was notified.

 

The Social Services Procedure included timescales within which complainants should have received a response to their complaint.  The nature of complaints was increasingly becoming more complex, despite this the Council had improved its responsiveness to complaints within the designated timescales.  During 2017/18, there was an improvement in performance, with the number of Stage 1 complaints not completed in timescale decreasing to 35% compared to 59% in 2016-2017.

 

The most common complaints received were as follows:

 

2017 - 2018 –

Most Common Complaints Received

Adult

Services

Children & Young People  Services

Resources Management, Safeguarding & Performance

Charges for Services

2

 

3

Lack of response from a team

 

3

0

Quality / level of service

8

8

1

*Ongoing concerns

1

7

 

Staff/resident complaint

 

7

 

Unhappy about care provision

5

0

0

Other

3

3

 

Total

19

28

4

 

*Ongoing concerns was a category on the complaints spreadsheet used to record complaints that did not fit under the other categories.

 

Compliments were also regarded as important information and used to identify good practice.  The Directorate received 19 compliments during 2017/2018 (see table below), compared to 106 in 2016/17 and 28 in 2015/16.  This decrease may be due to compliments not being forwarded for recording, staff would be reminded regularly to report compliments they received.  A compliments section had been added to the weekly Complaints update sent to managers to act as an ongoing reminder.

 

 

All of the compliments were about the excellent service or support the service user had received and often named specific staff.  It was acknowledged that certain service areas may be better placed than others to receive compliments and some teams were more effective at recording / reporting compliments than others.

 

During 2017-2018, Social Services received a total of 31 referrals from MPs and AMs relating to social care services.  Of these 11 referrals originated from Members of Parliament and the remaining 20 were from Assembly Members.  All the referrals received a response from the relevant Cabinet Member.  A four year comparison of these referrals was shown in the table below.  (Please note Corporate in this context means complaints that involved issues for the Corporate process.)

 

Having considered the report, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the contents of the report be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the Committee continues to receive an annual report in relation to complaints and compliments received by the Social Services Directorate.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure effective scrutiny of performance in Social Services.

 

(2)       To provide evidence about the effect of Social Services intervention upon the lives of individual service users and their carers.

 

 

395          SERVICE USER SATISFACTION CONSULTATION – 2017/18 OUTCOMES (DSS) –

 

The purpose of the report was to ensure that the Committee was provided with an overview of the consultation and engagement activity and outcomes within Social Services.  For this item, the Committee welcomed the Policy and Quality Assurance Officer.

 

The report outlined that the Policy and Quality Assurance Officer for Social Services undertook an annual programme of consultation to explore the experiences and views of citizens and their families who had been involved within Social Services.  The areas of consultation were underpinned by service priorities as confirmed by senior management. 

 

During April 2017 to March 2018, citizens who had received care and support from the following services were consulted:

 

  • Flying Start
  • Adult Placement Service
  • Placements and Permanency (Fostering)
  • Residential Services
  • Vale Community Resource Service (VCRS)
  • Welsh Government Performance Measures (an overview was provided according to respondent groups).

 

A report and action plans were produced for each service to highlight developmental areas.  To facilitate service improvement, the report highlighted areas in accordance with the thematic sections of the questionnaires.  Attached at Appendix 1 was the Annual Quality Assurance report which contained a detailed overview of the following:

 

  • Information provision
  • Services and support
  • Your life at the moment
  • Information and advice
  • Service and support
  • Improvement required.

 

A Committee Member queried whether more could be done to increase the number of responses received to the Adults questionnaire.  In reply, the Policy and Quality Assurance Officer advised that the Service was looking to improve response rates, and looking to gather views by holding more focus groups, while also trying to hold more one to one sessions.  These methods would enable more informative responses to be received.

 

Following consideration of the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the outcomes of citizen and carer consultation which are reported annually to relevant departments as part of a wider Quality Assurance function be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the co-production between departments which encourages individuals to be more involved in the design and delivery of services be noted

 

(3)       T H A T it be noted that qualitative measures are collated in line with the requirements of the Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014, and that this is incorporated into the current Social Services consultation outcomes.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To inform Elected Members of the quality assurance process within Social Services; specifically in relation to engagement and consultation with citizens and carers.

 

(2)       To ensure effective scrutiny of a key function undertaken by Social Services on behalf of the Council and the link with corporate engagement processes.

 

(3)       To ensure Elected Members are informed about our objectives in line with the requirements of the Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014.

 

 

396               QUARTER 1 (2018-19) PERFORMANCE REPORT: AN ACTIVE AND HEALTHTY VALE (DSS) –

 

The Committee received the performance results for Quarter 1, 1st April - 30th June, 2018 for the Corporate Plan Wellbeing Outcome 4, An Active and Healthy Vale.

 

The report advised that an overall green RAG status had been attributed to Wellbeing Outcome 4, An Active and Healthy Vale.

 

At Quarter 1, all of the 51 Corporate Plan actions attributed to this Wellbeing Outcome were on track to be delivered giving an overall green performance status for actions. 

 

Of the 31 performance measures aligned to this Well-being outcome, only seven measures could be allocated a RAG status. For the measures where a RAG status was applicable, five of the seven met or exceeded target (green status), one measure missed target by 10% (amber status) and one measure missed target by more than 10% (red status).

 

A detailed report outlined the progress this quarter towards achieving Wellbeing Outcome 4 was provided at Appendix A.

 

The Chairman queried progress around implementation of the Welsh Community Care Information System.  In reply, the Director advised that this was still work in progress, but it was expected that more progress would be reported for Quarter 2.  The Director added that there had been some technical issues which had resulted in the new system being slow, an inability to report performance, and problems when printing documents.  In addition, there had been technical issues with the transferring of legacy information for the old system.  In response, to these the Director advised that he had met with I.C.T Officers from the company and he commented that both Powys and Bridgend Councils had developed solutions in order to extrapolate data.

 

Having considered the report, the Committee

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T the performance results and progress towards achieving key outcomes in line with the Corporate Plan Wellbeing Outcome 4 - Residents of the Vale of Glamorgan lead healthy lives and vulnerable people are protected and supported, be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the performance results and remedial actions to be taken to address areas of underperformance and to tackle the key challenges identified, be noted.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure that the Council clearly demonstrates the progress being made towards achieving its Corporate Plan Wellbeing Outcomes in that making a positive difference to the lives of Vale of Glamorgan citizens.

 

(2)       To ensure the Council is effectively assessing its performance in line with the requirement to secure continuous improvement as outlined in the Local Government Measure (Wales) 2009 and reflecting the requirement of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act to ensure that it maximises its contribution to achieving the wellbeing goals for Wales.

 

 

397              2ND QUARTER SCRUTINY DECISION TRACKING OF RECOMMENDATIONS AND UPDATED WORK PROGRAMME SCHEDULE 2018/19 (MD) –

 

The Democratic and Scrutiny Services Officer presented the report, the purpose of which was to advise Members of progress in relation to the Scrutiny Committee’s recommendations and to confirm the updated work programme schedule for 2018/19.

 

Attached at Appendix A to the report were recommendations for the 2nd Quarter, July to September 2018, while at Appendix B were the recommendations for the municipal year 2016718.

 

Attached at Appendix C was the updated work programme schedule for 2018/19.

 

Members noted that the Children and Young People Services – Annual Placement Review had already been considered by the Learning & Culture Scrutiny Committee on 18th September, 2018.

 

Subsequently, it was

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the updated work programme attached at Appendix C to the report be uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

(2)       T H A T the following recommendations be deemed completed:

 

10 July 2018

Min. No. 130 – Development of a Locality Model of Community Mental Health Provision Across the Vale of Glamorgan (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That an update report be presented in January 2019

 

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 131 – Families First 2017-18 Annual Update (DSS) – Recommended

(3)   That an update report be received by the Committee on an annual basis.

 

 

Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 134 – Older Persons Housing and Accommodation Including With

Care and Care Ready (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That the minutes and the report be referred to the Homes and Safe Communities Scrutiny Committee for its consideration.

 

 

 

 

Referred to the Homes and Safe Communities Scrutiny Committee meeting on 12th September, 2018, which noted the reports and referred this on to Cabinet.

Completed

Min. No. 135 – Reshaping Services: A Sustainable Approach to the Provision of Single User Outdoor Sports Facilities (REF) – Recommended

(1)   That Cabinet be advised of the Committee’s view that a more detailed cost base analysis should be undertaken for each individual site referred to in Appendix A.

(2)   That Cabinet be advised that detailed discussions should take place with each individual club / organisation in order to gather their views and also to understand what options were available.

(3)   That a further report on this matter to be presented to the Scrutiny Committee prior to any final determination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1&2)   Cabinet, on 3rd September, 2018 noted the Committee’s comments and agreed that these would be taken into account when discussions took place with individual clubs and organisations.

(Min. No. C403 refers)

Completed

 

 

 

(3)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

Min. No. 136 – 1st Quarter Scrutiny Decision Tracking of Recommendations and Updated Work Programme Schedule 2018/19 (MD) – Recommended

(1)   That the updated work programme attached at Appendix D to the report be uploaded to the Council’s website.

 

 

 

 

 

Work   programme schedule updated and uploaded to the Council’s website.

Completed

 

11 September 2018

Min. No. – Children and Young People Services – Annual Placement Review (DSS) – Recommended

(2)   That the Committee continues to receive regular updates through existing reporting arrangements, including the monthly Budget Programme report and update reports on the Corporate Strategy for Children in Need of Care and Support and also through the Foster Carer Recruitment Strategy.

(3)   That a further Annual Placement Review report be received in July 2019.

4)   That the report be referred to the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee for its consideration.

 

 

 

(2&3)   Added to work programme schedule.

Completed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(4)   Referred to Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee meeting on 18th September, 2018.

Completed

Min. No. – Scrutiny Committees’ Draft Annual Report May 2017 to April 2018 (MD) – Recommended

That the contents of the draft Annual Report for the period May 2017 to April 2018, be approved subject to any further minor amendments being agreed in consultation with the Chairman, and for the report to be submitted to Full Council in September 2018.

Presented to Full Council meeting on 26th September, 2018.

Completed

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       For public information.

 

(2)       To maintain effective tracking of the Committee’s recommendations.